Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quick Hitters!

- Incarnate Word at Antonian was as spirited, no pun intended, as any game that I have witnessed this season. Each school had their respective Cameron Crazies that stood up the entire game and cheered or jeered every possession. The contest between the two best Catholic schools in the city made me a convert. I now believe in the abilities of Maureen Zuniga.

"Mo" Zuniga has had the tall task of following one of the best point guards this city has produced in the past few years, Liz Boyd. Boyd, now at St. Mary's, was one of my favorite players with her high basketball IQ and leadership ability. Unfortunately, it has been hard for me to watch Antonian and not question Zuniga's decisions based on what Boyd would have done.

That is no longer the case. Zuniga earned hers Friday night. The performance she put on in the second half was as good a performance in a meaningful game as anyone is this city this year. She WOULD NOT let the Apaches be defeated. She hit at least five 3's on her way to 22 points. She found open teammates and hit the occasional floater in traffic. She was GOOD! Her performance helped Antonian prevail 64-60. Her performance was , I have to say it, very Boyd-like!

- Incarnate Word's Tori Villareal can play! The sophomore will be a star. Her court vision is only matched by a few guards in the city and the smooth lefty is too strong for most local guards. She plays out of position in the Shamrock's offense and should get more opportunity to play with the ball in her hands with the graduation of senior PG, BreAnna Alba.

- Speaking of point guards, two of the best young point guards in the city(state/nation?) sat and watched the game a few feet away from each other. Churchill Freshman Leslie Vorpahl and Tejeda 8th grader, Recee' Caldwell were in attendance supporting their club teammates. 26-5A is going to be full of fireworks for the next few years as these two young leaders will clash often. If Steele is redistricted to 26-5A, incoming freshmen McKenzie Calvert(Steele) and Wendy Knight(Reagan) would make this district backcourts' as good as it gets in San Antonio.

- Steele spanks Clemens. The neighborly match up and rivalry game between two of the Top 10 schools in the city turned into a massacre. The Lady knights doubled up Clemens 76-38. Taylor Calvert had a big game with 22 points. Basketball is indeed a game of match ups!

- Big Raven Reyes(Fox Tech) grabs 26 boards and scores 23 points in a close loss to Burbank.

- Wagner superstar point guard, LenNique Brown, took one for the team. Brown reportedly caught in inadvertent elbow from friend and former club teammate, CeCe McLee in the battle on Friday night. The USC bound point guard reportedly fractured her nose in the win. Wagner won the contest by double digits over Judson but not with of shedding a little blood in the process.

- Speaking of Judson, freshman La'Qeisha "LB" Brown is getting hers! The ultra athletic freshman scored 11 points in the game against the top rated team in the city, Wagner. Brown is contributing 8 points a game in a starting role for the Lady Rockets.

- Over 9,000 people witnessed the University of Texas beat Baylor Sunday night. It was a joy to see so many fans supporting women's basketball. It was also eye opening to see the " Griner Effect". Many of the fans were there to see the freshman sensation and a potential dunk. Some things I noticed from the game:

1. " The future of women's basketball will be dominated by jump shooters". This statement is taken from a college coach who imparts these wise words to me in almost EVERY conversation that we have. This game indicated that he is on the right track. The amount of shots by players taken IN THE FACE of opposing defenders was reminiscent of the men's game. More female players are rising up and elevating to hit "jump shots" on opposing defenders. The game is getting more athletic every year and the old set shot from the chest will soon be a distant memory at the highest levels of women's basketball.

2. "The basket is 10 feet,everywhere you go!" This is a maxim that was instilled in me as a young player and it rang true tonight. Griner is an awesome presence as she scored almost half of her teams points and almost single-handedly fouled out two post players for Texas. But without consistent three point shooting for Baylor, they are VERY beatable. Basketball in still a team game and while the Griner Effect is huge, she can not do it alone! Teams will continue to pack the paint and dare Baylor to beat them from the outside. That is what UT did and the strategy worked.

3. San Antonio has a lot of talent! San Antonio players that I saw in attendance of the game included in no particular order: Meighan Simmons, CeCe McLee, Olivia Patterson, Elena Gumbs, Taylor Calvert, Recee' Caldwell, Wendy Knight, Asha Finch, Raven Reyes, Alison Salmon, and McKenzie Calvert. Two of the three best 2011 kids the city, Arielle Roberson and Erica Donovan were sitting behind the University of Texas bench. I am sure that they were special guests of the UT staff!

- Speaking of the best 2011's in the city, Cornerstone Big and Baylor commit, Sune Agbuke is now on the SA Lady Rohawks! When I broke this news to a club director of a local team, he responded " I thought the Rohawks were not going to even have a team this year". Many people have underestimated the momentum that Charlie Harper and his movement have produced. Besides adding Sune, his squad returns Super Sophomore, Niaga Mitchell-Cole( Roosevelt), Taylor Calvert and two new bright stars from Killeen. His also reportedly added a D1 level point guard from a different state to try and fill the shoes that his Big-12 bound daughter, CeCe, left to be replaced. The icing on the cake is that the Lady Rohawks now have a college coach on their coaching staff. Our Lady of The Lake(NAIA) Assistant Coach, Christopher Miner is now a coach for the Lady Rohawks. For those of you who question the legality of this, please know the the top club team in the country last year, Nike Cal Swish, is coached by Vanguard University's(NAIA) Russ Davis!